4 tips to get hourly workers to show up to interviews

There is nothing more frustrating than when an applicant doesn’t show up for an interview. Learn how small businesses can improve interview show rates for hourly workers.

Business owners and managers face many problems, including finding and retaining the best employees. A problem within this problem is potential employees not showing up for job interviews. While a nuisance for larger businesses, for a small business, no-shows can mean a significant drain on precious time and resources.

In a recent Accurate survey, 54% of responding employers said their current interview show rate was less than 25%. So, why is this number so low, and what can you do about it?  

Why are show rates important?

As cliche as it sounds, time is money. In our survey, nearly 50% of respondents said they spend 2-5 hours a week reviewing applications, and 24% spend more than 5 hours per week. A survey from Yello found in their recent interview-scheduling survey that most respondents spend between 30-120 minutes to schedule a single interview. With this significant time commitment, increasing show rates is essential to the productivity of your business.  

Why do people not show up?

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll assume positive intent among most applicants and will focus on the reasons for interview no-shows within your control (i.e. not trying to convince applicants who may have never had any real intention of showing up). 

The reasons most people don’t show up for an interview include: 

  • Feeling nervous/anxious about the process
  • Feeling unprepared
  • Confusion around meeting time/location
  • Scheduling conflicts
  • Changes to work schedule/unable to get away from work
  • Unexpected circumstances – childcare, family emergency, etc

What to do about it?

Knowing why people don’t show up is a great first step, and it can guide your adjustments. Here are 4 easy ways to improve show rates. 

  1. Appealing job description

Perhaps the most important, you need to create an appealing job description. Tell the candidate why your company is great and why they’d enjoy working there. Go beyond the paycheck and discuss company culture and, if applicable, flexible hours, strong benefits, a family-like atmosphere and other factors that make your business stand out from the competition.

  1. Clear pre-interview communication

Many interviews fall through, unfortunately, because of poor communication. The interviewee may have been mixed up on time, place or even the interview format—in person, video or phone. Create a process for thorough, meticulous communication so nothing is misunderstood.

  1. Use video interviews for the first round

Video interviews are faster, more convenient, easier to schedule and attend, and therefore have higher show rates. Video interviews can be especially useful as a first-round, get-to-know-you type of interview.

  1. Flexible interview times

People are busy. Fitting a job interview around work, school, parenting, family obligations and everything else can feel like an impossible game of Tetris. Give job candidates plenty of flexibility, and be available for early, late and even weekend interviews. Allow them to choose a time that works best and you’ll likely find more candidates showing up for your next opening.